I chose to describe this day of October 15, 2020 because it is not like the others.
Indeed, it marks the beginning of breeding with the first births of gray zebrafinch in the 2020-2021 breeding season !
Eight pairs of grays mating since September 26 of this year.
Today, 3 couples have had births, 2 couples convent their fertilized eggs and 3 others have to re-lay after a "white" laying. The majority of this year’s breeders are primiparous, I do not hold them against this false start which can turn into an excellent season. As long as I observe well the behaviour of these young future parents (the younger ones are about 11 months old).
Let's first review the value of the word "Breed":
- Provide the care necessary for the development of someone, of an animal, from its birth to a certain point of completion: Breeding your young.
- Nourish, maintain its existence until it has acquired a certain strength.
- Feed and protect animals or plants to promote their development.
The zebra finch is naturally a formidable breeder. Laying, brooding and feeding go smoothly. The couple (both the female and the male) are enthusiastic about it, are completely busy raising their brood.
As an anecdote, I will always remember a father who after the loss of the mother, had given everything to finish raising their offspring. I have the image of this devoted male who could not take it any longer, who waver at the end of the day in front of me, but tirelessly continue to feed his young until weaning. I gave him all the care possible to support him during this period.
My passion for breeding birds has been passed down to me from father to son. Indeed my grandfather, Italian origin, liked to breed pigeons and canaries for his pleasure. His children: My father and my uncles also have or raise birds (pigeons, straight beaks, canaries, hooks).
Later, one of my uncle sent me a photo (below) from 1970 showing my great-grandfather and grandfather proud in front of their dovecote. Dovecote which had been built on the land of the house where I was born.
I spent my childhood in Coulogne, a small town known for its many pigeon farms, the "Colombophiles Coulonneux". So after a youth "bathed" in the breeding of birds of all kinds, I discovered at the age of 12 the different colors of mandarin diamonds in books. A little later, around 14 years old, I was lucky enough to meet a zebrafinch finisher near my home known for his multiple world championship titles on display. He taught me the basics of genetics, gave me my first showroom zebrafinch, etc. What motivated me to go further !
I always marvel at the birth of young birds, which represents life… I also love everything that this passion teaches me: Patience and humility. Qualities that seem to me undeniable to progress in the selection of strains.
Through several media, we sometimes read statements or the establishment of what one might call "cooking recipes" concerning the breeding of our zebrafinch.
I think that of a general nature these can mislead us and even prevent real progress. It is therefore always a shame to want to freeze certain rules without foundation and constructive spirit in this way.
What is the state of mind of a true breeder, worthy of the name !?
We have a great passion, this is often what I am told when I present it to neophyte friends.
It takes a lot of time, sometimes investment in our lives .. If we want good results in breeding. We each have a sometimes different vision of the bird we are trying to achieve through our patience and perseverance which can sometimes be counted in years.
A passion where there are no ready-made recipes as there are so many parameters. Making the experience, the observation of breeders the main base.
We will agree that this happens above all in the breeding room, in front of the birds and that the results do not come like fast food! Impatient or follower of "I want / have" to abstain.
A breeder, a real one. With great patience and cultivating humility, will in general be discreet and will most often avoid asserting knowing that genetics, selection has countless facets and that there is always something to be done. Learn.